Getting started on your running plan is like taking a road trip. You have your map and you know about how long it’s going to take you to get there. You have a used car you’ve never driven across the country and it’s tires barely have tread and are not even the right style for long distances. But you might not know that. You might just go get any old tire that will do. Without telling the tire mechanic what kind of tires you really need… and we all know that if you have bad tires, the chances are high for getting a flat or having a blowout that causes an accident.
I’ve been running now for about 7 years. Wait, let me clarify that statement…
I’ve been running on and off for about 15 years. The last 7 years of which I’ve loved the experience. The first 8 years were met with frustration, injury and failure.
I get asked this question a lot. I’m going to start running. What do I do first?
And you might think… Easy, I’ll head to the mall, target or walmart and get a cheap good-looking pair sneakers to run in.
The key to having a great running experience starts with running in the right shoe FOR YOU.
These days, most cities have stores dedicated to running or multisport (triathlon) and are staffed with experienced runners who know how to fit a person in the right shoe according to how they run. Which means they watch you run at the store and fit you according to what they see and the information they get from you about your experience or your goals you want to accomplish.
When I lived in Nashville, Fleet Feet Sports in Brentwood did a great job of getting me in the right pair FOR ME. In Colorado, we have Colorado Running Company, Runners Roost, Boulder Running Company and my personal favorite – Newton Running Company, which based in Boulder, CO and offers free clinics weekly.( Newton running shoes have changed everything about the way I run. Part of the reason is all the instructional videos and info on running form they have on their site. Brilliant.)
Most people don’t realize running shoes are made in three varieties. These varieties are made based on how a person’s foot lands on the pavement. Which means to the running world, there are only three types of feet to fit for running.
I’m a neutral runner, so when I go looking for shoes, one of the first things they are going to ask me is which type I am. If I don’t know, then they will throw me into a pair of shoes and watch me run from behind so they can watch how my foot lands.
Once you figure this out, then you get to choose from whatever suits you in that variety.
Here are a few things to think about once you start narrowing in on the shoe you want.
My running shoes are one size bigger than what I normally wear. The reason is I want enough room in the toe box to not cramp my toes. This helps when it comes to those long miles and preventing lost toenails you hear about. Plus the less constricted my foot feels, the more natural my foot feels in the shoe.
And speaking of less constricted, I always wear Yankz laces on my shoes. They never come untied and you never risk the chance of tying your shoe too tight.
If you are looking to do triathlons, Yankz are a must to get into your shoes as fast as possible.
The last thing you want to think about is getting good running socks. No cotton tube socks! You will see running socks in any decent running store. Most of them provide some form of support or compression and help the overall experience in how your feet feel.
Here’s the bottom line.
If your feet don’t feel good, eventually the rest of your body isn’t going to feel good. The impact starts with your feet. So the more you protect and baby them, the less you have to worry about.
There’s a lot I’m not saying about running form, which is another factor in your overall running experience and prevention of injury.
So… I hope this gets some of you started in the right foot so you can be off and running in no time.
Do you have any questions? Any helpful shoe tips from those who have been running?